Buy Alexandria Real Estate: I Hate My Real Estate Agent -- Now What?

Alexandria Virginia Real Estate Blog

I Hate My Real Estate Agent -- Now What?


Don't Voodoo Your Agent -- Get a New One!Okay... hate is a strong word and one that my mother told me never to use.  Let's say you dislike them or just don't enjoy working with them anymore.

So, you're working with a real estate agent and things have gone sour.  Maybe your agent is not available according to your schedule.  Perhaps they don't return your phone calls.  Do they show you homes that they like but not ones that you like?  Whatever the reason, you've decided that you no longer wish to work with that particular REALTOR.

Now what?

Are you stuck?  Are you locked in to work with this agent?  What can you do?

Have you signed an agreement?

There are two basic types of agreements that somebody signs when they decide to work with a real estate agent.  If you are selling your home, you will always sign a listing agreement.  If you are working with an agent to purchase a home, you may have signed a Buyer Broker Agreement.

You should know your broker's obligations under these agreements:

Selling Your Home -- Know the Broker's Duties

Ready to Buy a Home? Know Your Buyer Broker's Duties

Listing agreements and buyer broker agreements have expiration dates. 

It is unethical for another real estate professional to solicit your business while you are still bound by one of these agreements.  However, it is perfectly okay for you to contact another agent when you are dissatisfied with your current one, even while the agreement is still in effect.

Please check any agreement you have signed for a clause that mentions a payment to terminate the agreement.  Some agents make you pay to stop working with them before the agreement is over.  I don’t think this is a good business practice.  If your relationship is not working, it’s not working.  I’ve never charged somebody to get out of an agreement.  Nevertheless, some agents do this and you want to be careful not to be stuck owing your former agent money.

Once your agreement has expired, you are entirely free to start working with an alternative agent.

If you have not signed an agreement, realize that there is nothing keeping you bound to “your” real estate agent.  This agent may have driven you all around town for two weekends, but without an agreement, they’re just counting on your loyalty.  But, there’s nothing keeping you legally bound.


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Comment balloon 67 commentsBrian Block • February 21 2009 09:36AM


Hi Brian,
An educated client makes a better client.  The more we can do to inform them, the more they will respect us and what we do for them.  Great consumer educational post.

Posted by Cynthia Tilghman, Realtor® Onslow County NC Home Specialist (Kingsbridge Realty, Inc) over 9 years ago

Brian, I think this a topic a lot of agents don't like to talk about, but I think's important to get the right information out there and you did it very well.

Posted by Barb Szabo, CRS, E-pro Realtor, Cleveland Ohio Homes (RE/MAX Trinity Brecksville Ohio) over 9 years ago

Well Done!  Many people don't know how the process works unless an agent takes the time to educate them.

Posted by David Slavin, CDPE, ABR, SRES Keller Williams Premier (Keller Williams Premier) over 9 years ago

Hi Brian,

Great article.  You are right, most people don't know the details of their agreements.  Would you consider a second article detailing the options a buyer and seller have as far as expiration dates, cancellations and anything else that might be negotiable?  What might be considered "standards" in the industry? 


Jenifer De La Garza
Administrative Support Group

Posted by Jenifer De La Garza over 9 years ago

Good that you wrote about this. I had a potential client ask me about this. She didn't like who she was working with and wanted me to help her. I sugested she sever her ties first before I helped her.

Posted by Lizette Fitzpatrick, Lizette Realty,Lexington KY MLS - Kentucky Homes - (Lizette Realty - Lexington KY - Richmond KY) over 9 years ago

I often wonder in amazement why buyer stick with incompetent agents.  But, then, I remember The Stockhold Syndrome.


Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 9 years ago

I think that is why it is a good thing to interview realtors before signing on the dotted line just like most consumers shop lenders.  To make sure they have the right fit!

Posted by Naoma Doriguzzi, New Media Director (Virginia Beach) over 9 years ago

Great Consumer Post! I think we need to educate buyers better on how they can do business with buyer's agents, However, shouldn't buyer agents be able to post written/signed agreements on the net so that buyers don't go through other agents without getting out of the contract first?

Posted by Sandy McAlpine, Search Lake Norman Homes For Sale - Lake Norman NC (RE/MAX EXECUTIVE) over 9 years ago


Great article. I think it is a good idea for buyers and sellers the fully understand an agency agreement. I always offer a 100% guarantee they can withdraw at anytime. It seems to help them feel like they aren't being trapped into working with me if they decide they don't like me.

It's not fun to work with someone who doesn't want to work with me.

Posted by Lisa Udy, Logan Utah Realtor ( Platinum Real Estate Group) over 9 years ago

Brian, I cannot imagine, in my wildest dreams, holding someone to a listing agreement if they wanted out.  I actually include language on an addendum that gives both of us the right to terminate the agreement.  Once I had trouble firing a quite awful client who wanted to hold me to the agreement!  We're not going to hold them with a piece of paper.  We have to perform.

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 9 years ago

I am always amazed at those agents who DO want to hold a client to a long-term commitment.

Posted by James Downing - Metro DC Houses Team REALTORS®, CRS, GRI, ABR,MRP, MilRes, When Looking to Buy or Sell - Make the Right Move (Real Living | At Home) over 9 years ago

Good post Brian. Educating the public is part of our job and explaining the agency agreements, especially buyers agency is vital.

Posted by Maria Morton, Kansas City Real Estate 816-560-3758 (Chartwell Kansas City Realty) over 9 years ago

Excellent post and points. It is hard for relationships to come to a good end if both sides are not happy. Sometimes the customer is the "ugly baby" and sometimes it's the agent. Either way it may be time to shake hands and say goodbye.

Posted by Treva Fox-Christy (INTEGRITY REAL ESTATE) over 9 years ago

If you haven't signed a buyers agreement and you don't like your agent move on.

Posted by Russ Ravary ~ Metro Detroit Realtor call (248) 310-6239, Michigan homes for sale ~ (Real Estate One) over 9 years ago

Nice blog, I  tell folks up front, spend a day with me and if you're satisfied with my service we'll have an agreement, if not, we'll part as friends. No turn downs yet...

Posted by Frank & Jodi Orlando (Frank & Jodi Orlando Get Us A Home Realty Atlanta Homes Sale) over 9 years ago

Our state association has some great information that spells out clearly and in easy to understand language how agency works in Tennessee. I give both buyers and sellers a copy at our first meeting.

Posted by Jim Lee, Portsmouth NH Realtor, Portsmouth, NH (RE/MAX Shoreline) over 9 years ago

Hi Brian, a nice outline on what to look for, in addition some agreements have a clause for reimbursement of marketing fees if you wish to terminate.  I do not charge anyone who is unhappy with our services and have waived the marketing fees...others that dislike being told the truth...may be another story.  Regardless the fact is company agreements vary and knowing what you sign should be a priority.  Very nice post.

Posted by Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375, Real Estate Services You can Trust! (Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions") over 9 years ago

Buyers often don't really understand the buyer-agent relationship.  Your post is a good one for prospective buyers to read.

Posted by Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA) over 9 years ago

Hi Brian -- Great post.  Another side to this is the legal concept of "procuring clause" which can and oftentimes does, trump a buyer broker agreement, it happens in arbitration all the time.  If the first agent introduced a buyer to the property and kept in touch and kept the chain of events going, but the buyer decides to work with another agent, regardless of whether a buyer broker agreement exists with the first agent, this buyer can be impacted if they decide to purchase a home through the second agent that the first agent already showed them.  Another post perhaps?

Posted by Chris Olsen, Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate (Olsen Ziegler Realty) over 9 years ago

Any agent who "binds" a buyer OR seller and won't release them has no eye to real business...fair play...ethics and we see them all toooo often.

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (Keller Williams 414-525-0563) over 9 years ago

Brian  I find it hard to believe that an agent with a dissatisfied client would ever br reluctant to release them,  Karen

Posted by Karen Kruschka, - "My Experience Isn't Expensive - It's PRICELESS" (RE/MAX Executives) over 9 years ago

Great points.  An excellent way to educate clients.

Posted by Nobody Here (Cold) over 9 years ago

Interesting subject....few of us want to think this way. I've only had one client "hate" me...and he does! Sad part is, he doesn't understand that I'm the only reason he has the home he loves. I'm actually happy that he loves his home, even though I'm the face of frustration to him. Funny thing!!


Posted by Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner, Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395 (Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395) over 9 years ago

Hi Brian - Another good bit of information.  I agree, if for some reason you are not working out well together, then just part company and move to the next client.  Trying to hold someone who is dissatisfied with your work will not bring about a smooth and wonderful buying or selling experience.

Posted by Kimberly Thurm, Broker / Relocation Consultant ABR, CRS, GRI, SFR (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KoenigRubloff, Naperville, IL) over 9 years ago


Good post. Our clients always have choices. Too often, I hear agents try to push buyer agency agreements by saying something dumb like "this documents says that if I show you the house, you need to buy it through me!". FORGET IT! The better approach is more like "the level of service that I provide can only be maintained for a limited number of clients. If you want to be in this select group, you do it through this agreement". And when there is cause to release someone from a contract, it should be done. Plain and simple...

Posted by Harold "Hal" Benz, CEO/ Team Leader (Keller Williams NJ Metro Group) over 9 years ago

We should all educate our potential clients.  Some agents can be pushy and the consumer does not know what they are getting into.  More knowledge for the consumer makes them more comfortable to work with us.

Posted by Angelia Garcia (Pure Realtors) over 9 years ago

You would think this market has weeded out all the "bad" agents.  I guess, we've still got a few to go.

Posted by Ben Olson over 9 years ago

Very well written and very helpful for the consumer Brian !!

Nicely done :o)

Cheers !


Posted by Sheldon Neal, That British Agent Bergen County NJ (Bergen County, NJ - RE/MAX Real Estate Limited) over 9 years ago

Brian... this is good for many consumers to know, even some realtors.  I have spoken with a few clients in the past, that the buyer was not happy with their current realtor. The realtor did nothing... I told them to complain to the realtor, then to the broker, etc etc..  This is a business. If you need to use a real estate contract and hold it over someones head, yet receive bad press for it, I think that tactic is a bad move. I know some realtors would release the client and some that push the envelope. Usually the bads ones will enforce this, just to make a commission... at least that is my opinion.  Nice job here..

Jeff Belonger

Posted by Jeff Belonger, The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans ( Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc) over 9 years ago

Great consumer post.  There are a lot of "sour" feelings out there right now.

Thanks for sharing

Posted by Casey Joiner, Scenic Sotheby's International Realty (Scenic Sotheby's International Realty over 9 years ago

Brian - wonderful post and sound advice. I think we need to talk more about agency and fiduciary duties with our clients and public. Agency is what differs us from what people usually refer as used cars salespersons. Sad thing is that we do not get paid for agency - we get paid for sales. That's why exclusive agreements are so important.


Posted by Svetlana Stolyarova, Local-n-Global Realty, Broker 216-548-4663 (Local-n-Global Realty, Cleveland and International Real Estate Solution) over 9 years ago

You have stated it well.  No one wants to loose a Client but if there are personality conflicks aren't you really working in your Client's best interest in releasing them?  You can even realize there is a problem and refer them to someone else in your office and collect a referral without the a hassle of the conflick.  It is better than letting them go to another brokerage.

Posted by Evelyn Johnston, The People You Know, Like and Trust! (Friends & Neighbors Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Great Blog.  I NEVER have them sign Buyers Agency Agreements.  If they want to be loyal they will and sometimes we don't want to work with each other after a period of time.

Posted by Christine OShea (Christine E O'Shea Real Estate Broker) over 9 years ago

I also would let them out of a contract. I always tell them that if it not working, we can end the contract. My broker is of the same opinion. I am guessing after reading the comment from Christine is NJ there is no mandatory buyer broker agreement? In CT, you could actually lose your commission if the sellers atty or agent has reason to suspect you do not have a signed buyer/broker agreement with your client. If you can't produce the document at closing, upon request, the entire commission then goes to the listing agent, with no payment to the buyers broker. Not many in my particular area have asked to see it, however in southern CT it is happening more and more. I would hate to explain that to my broker when I came back from a closing without a check!

Also, as a side note, I checked out the outrageous agent website. Scary place. One thing that bothered me is that it can be used maliciously, without cause. There doesn't seem to be anyone to monitor the accurateness of the accusations. I am sure that some are very accurate, however, it is still scary to me. Anyone who might dislike you for any reason could post something there. It would seem a better way to handle complaints against agents would be through local boards, state boards, state consumer protection agencies. Just a thought.

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) over 9 years ago

Good post!  Our office policy requires a written notification from the buyer to cancel the buyers' contract.  It's as simple as the client putting it in writing.  Most listing agreement provide a cancellation in writing.  If they want out, then just let us know -- in writing, and then it's over.  Our office can also put in writing that the agency relationship between the office and the buyer is null and void as well.  It works both ways.  Why?  Because if the buyer is shady, unethical, wants something -- well, weird -- we can disassociate ourselves too.

Posted by Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED (RETIRED / State License is Inactive) over 9 years ago

Brian, I always tell my clients that if they are not happy with me in any way that I will not hold them to a contract.  Thankfully, I have never had to cancel one, but I honestly do not ever want to work with someone who doesn't think I am representing them properly or with enough energy and commitment that they expect.

Posted by Diane Aurit, Lake Norman Real Estate (LKN Realty, LLC) over 9 years ago

Let them go!!  No one wants to work with someone they don't like.  I don't want to work with someone I have no relationship with.  It must be a two way relationship.

Posted by Cindy Edwards, CRS, GRI, PMN - Northeast Tennessee - 423-677-6677 (RE/MAX Checkmate) over 9 years ago


Wonderful post to share with consumers and agents alike.



Posted by Lynda Hester (Prudential Georgia Realty - Rabun County, Ga.) over 9 years ago

Brian - I think the photo kinda says it all.  I need some of those around my office.

Posted by Jason Crouch, Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653) (Austin Texas Homes, LLC) over 9 years ago

Brian I love the photo!! I was wondering why I was feeling prickly the other day - LOL

Posted by Bill Gassett, Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate (RE/MAX Executive Realty) over 9 years ago

Yea, verily, yea. I appreciate your take on this! Many clients are dissatisfied with their agent but don't know what they are "allowed" to do to alleviate the situation...and cute picture. I told you to stop doing that voodoo thing though...people will think REALTOR®=cult.

Go RE/MAX!!!

Posted by Dawn Maloney, 330-990-4236 Hudson & Northeastern Ohio (RE/MAX Haven - Northeast Ohio Real Estate Specialist) over 9 years ago

Well said post - great for consumers. Thanks!

Posted by Christianne O'Malley, Exceptional Service - Delivering Results in Reno! (RE/MAX Realty Affiliates) over 9 years ago

And many of us work with an agreement, but we also have escape clauses if the client isn't happy...

Posted by Lane Bailey, Realtor & Car Guy (Century 21 Results Realty) over 9 years ago

One of the changes we made in the last year was adding a Fee if the contract was canceled prior to expiration.  I go over this at listing, and have the clients initial it.  To date I have only collected once, and just a pittance of the contracted fee, and that's because I wanted to make sure my client got the best representation possible, which with their changed circumstances wasn't me.  She needed to put the property up for a short sale, and I didn't have the knowledge or experience at the time, but someone else she knew did.  So I offered to let her out of her contract, and she offered to pay something for the Marketing expenses.  Worked for both of us, and being the Broker I can make these decisions.

Many years ago I learned that without some type of financial investment some people aren't invested.  With Real Estate I have seen many sellers and buyers either through lack of knowledge, or lack of decency expect the Real Estate Agent to be at their beck and call 24/7, pay for Marketing upfront and all the other expenses associated with their home, and then just say oh by the way, I'm going to have Aunt Sally sell it for me.  And often we're darn lucky if they say that. Usually it's someone telling a lie to get out of the contract.  Now everyone I work with knows my available hours, what to expect from me (and vice versa), and that there will be some type of expense from them as well, with flexibility for every situation of course ;)  It's working just fine for me.....

Posted by Kathy McGraw, Riverside County CA Real Estate (CELLing Realty) over 9 years ago

Brian - It is important for a consumer to know their options !  It is hard to believe that an agent would charge a consumer for someone to get out, but stranger things have been known to happen.  I think it is pretty easy for a consumer to get out of buyer agency by just contacting the broker.  Listing agreements on the other hand may be a little tougher as long as it can be shown that the agent has advertised and marketed the property in accordance with the listing contract.

Posted by Christopher and Stephanie Somers - Realtors - Philadelphia Real Estate (Realtor / Owner - RE/MAX Access) over 9 years ago

This is a very intriguing post.  It's funny, but sometimes I hear agents speak dismissively about buyers and sellers who don't know or understand what they have signed, or the dissatisfied buyer who isn't sure if they have a buyer agency agreement.

If the customer/client doesn't understand that, it is a reflection on the AGENT not the client.  If I walk up to your client and ask them what they signed, when it expires, what it entails, and what the fee is, and they can't answer, then the agent has not done a good job.  But we know that this happens all the time.

If you can't explain the listing and buyer agreements to their understanding, how the heck can you explain dual agency, short sales, REO, bankruptcy, and market absorption and how that affects the process and their bargaining position?

Posted by George Belleville (Keller Williams Select Realtors) over 9 years ago

Brian - your mother is very wise :). I was taught the same thing and teach the same to my children. LOL @Bill feeling prickly. ~Rita

Posted by Brian Burke, Broker & Advising Expert-Denver Luxury Real Estate (Kenna Real Estate) over 9 years ago

I think we need to do a better job of informing our clients of the duties we provide. I think a lot of agents don't inform their clients because they don't know what those duties are.

Posted by Mike Russell, Overland Park Kansas Real Estate (Mike Russell & Associates) over 9 years ago

I heard today from a fellow Realtor that had a buyer miss an appointment because they were with another realtor.. and they were trash mouthing him.  Say what ? 

Posted by Roland Woodworth, Q Realty - Power In Real Estate (Q Realty) over 9 years ago

First of all I love that picture you chose, as it rally does say it all.  I say thank you to the agents that have by their inability to service people have sent many buyers and sellers my way.  Great post and congrats on the feature!

Posted by Jason Neumann, Realtor - (Century 21 Assurance Realty Ltd.) over 9 years ago

Brian, I can't imagine making a buyer pay to kick me to the curb. That's just crazy.  Being in the business for 10 years has made me much wiser.  We can't please everyone, nor can they all please us.   A seller on the other hand...I would consider having them reimburse me for expenses.  I only say that because I know I do my job when listing a home.  I haven't lost a listing yet, but am wise enough to know it will happen. 

Posted by Elizabeth Cooper-Golden, Huntsville AL MLS (Huntsville Alabama Real Estate, (@ Homes Realty Group)) over 9 years ago

The one mistake I see people make is signing a long-term agreement with a listing agent who is virtually unknown to them. I have spoken with many people who were locked into year-long terms with agents they hated by the end of the first month-broken promises, poor or no communication, undisclosed side jobs, you name it. Smart home owners should discuss terms for termination before singing an agreement.

Our MLS listing contract reserves the right for reimbursement of all expenses in cases of premature termination. When people express concern about that, I remind them that if we are actually incurring those expenses, the odds of them being dissatisfied are long.

Posted by J. Philip Faranda, Broker-Owner (J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY) over 9 years ago

Hi Brian,

I have spoken with many clients who had previous unsatisfactory experiences. I do ask clients to sign a Buyers Agency Agreement. First, however, I spend some time with them so we can all see if we'll work well together. If the answer is yes, I'll ask them to sign an agreement. I have never been asked to "get out of the agreement".I ask for no money from them. Just committment from them, and I offer dedicated service in return.


Holding a Buyers Conference before seeing properties is also part of my Buyers Package. This gives the buyers a chance to ask questions and to go over the buying process.

Posted by Randi Steckler (RE/MAX Executive Realty) over 9 years ago

Great subject -- In this market there is no reason a client should feel neglected by an agent.  It seems like some agents are snobby about price ranges -- recently I met a gentlemen that said "my agent keep showing me only at the top of my price range -- she won't show me the deals"   The other agent sent me an email saying he is a waste of time not a serious buyer--  About a week later we had found a foreclosure and are closing next month.  Be honest with your clients -- don't write off the "cold leads" you never know what will heat them up.

Posted by Jennifer Marks (On Maternity Leave) over 9 years ago

Great post!  I always meet with my buyer first, explain the Buyer Agreement and then tell them that if they are comfortable with my services -- and my personality -- then we will sign it before looking at homes. 

I've never had this happen, but if for some reason they don't feel it's a good fit down the road, I would let them go -- no strings (or fees) attached.   It's just good business.

Posted by Kerry Lucasse, Your Nest Atlanta Real Estate Consultant (eXp Realty - Nest Atlanta Team) over 9 years ago

I have a policy that if someone is dissatisfied (seller or buyer client)... even if we have a listing/buyer's agency contract.... I RELEASE them. If the relationship is sour, there is nothing good going to come of it. Let them go and move on.

Posted by Erica Ramus, MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate (Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA ) over 9 years ago

Brian, it's difficult to be stuck in a relationship because one is bound by a contract. Many agents would release buyers from Buyer agreements, but very few would release sellers. The reasoning is that money was spend to market the listing, therefore the contract should run it's length. Couldn't the same argument apply to buyers -the expenditure of time?  In NJ buyers agreements are not mandatory and few agents (me included) use them.

Posted by Faina Sechzer, Real Estate Expert - Princeton, Montgomery ,Hopewell, NJ (Henderson-Sotheby's International Realty) over 9 years ago

If someone wanted out of their listing agreement, I would release them as well.

Posted by Sharon Paxson, Newport Beach Real Estate - Arbor Real Estate (Arbor Real Estate) over 9 years ago

It's a no win situation to try & hold a client just based on the contract if they want out. You would both just be miserable and the likelihood of making money is between slim & none with slim out of town. That being said though, don't forget to remind them that the protected period as per the terms of the contract are still in effect. There are those who would let you do all the heavy lifting just to come back in a month and buy (or sell) the property you showed them. Look commission  and that's not everyday but it's not a once in a blue moon  occurence either.

Posted by Chris Oliver (Century 21, Preferred Properties) over 9 years ago

the previous agent still has some fiduciary responsibility that carries thereafter and comes into play if they bring in a buyer........

Posted by TIM MONCRIEF, Over 2,000 homes sold….. (Keller Williams Realty) over 9 years ago

Great post!  I just picked up a client (maybe) after her unsatisfactory experience with another agent.  She seemed very impressed with my thoroughness but...I WANT THAT SIGNATURE!  Thanks Brian!

Posted by Antoinette Scognamiglio, GRI, ASP, CNBS, Relocation Specialist, Morris & Sussex County, NJ (Coldwell Banker Realtors) over 9 years ago

The expenditure of time/money in marketing a listing is not worth the bad press if you have an unhappy seller. I let them all go if they complain about being tied to me. i rarely have had to release anyone, but it does happen.

Posted by Erica Ramus, MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate (Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA ) over 9 years ago

There are way too many people out there that still have a misconception on how much time and energy goes into being successful and how we are constantly on a roller coaster ride.  I don't think John Q. Public will ever understand unless they have been there and done that.


Posted by Don Spera, Serving York and Adams County, PA (CR Property Group, LLC) almost 8 years ago

I think the problem is the huge disconnect between the perception of the customer and the reality of the real estate professional's working environment.

Posted by Lisa VonBargen, Estes Park Real Estate Photographer (Photography7522) almost 8 years ago

we just opted to part ways with our realtor last Thursday. we have been listed with this company for over a year, and after we completed our 6 month agreement, we signed two 3 month terms with the realtor, and they were both accompanied with a note saying that since we completed the first 6 months, if we decided to withdraw from the contract with the realtor, we could do so at anytime and without penalty. we have both emails.

we took that to mean we could leave if we chose. the realtors manager got involved after we decided to break our agreement, the manager is refusing to remove our listing completely from MLS, and has put a note in the comments section basically warning any realtor that we sign with that he has a stake in any sale that takes place until 5/5/2011.

can he do this? we never worked with nor had any connection to the manager, and he is wanting us to sign a new contract saying we acknowledge he has a stake in any new listing agreement that we sign with another realtor. he won't take our listing off of MLS until we sign this new contract. is this stuff legal? we just want to sale our home! we aren't versed in the process, and we feel like prisoners. the manager won't even talk to me and hung up in my face earlier today.

HELP! is there not anyone we can contact?

Posted by Larry O over 7 years ago

Larry, I'm not certain where you are located, but in any case, I'd suggest contacting the local REALTORS' Association to see who you can talk to about your situation.  It sounds like what the manager is doing is inappropriate and unethical.  Somebody at your local association should be able to help you resolve this problem.

If you are in the Northern Virginia or D.C. area, feel free to give me a call.

Posted by Brian Block, Northern Virginia & D.C. Real Estate (RE/MAX Allegiance, Managing Broker/Branch Vice President) over 7 years ago

I have documented my dreadful recent home-buying ordeal in a new e-book called “I Would Rather Have Root Canal Once a Week for the Rest of My Life Than Ever Buy a House Again,” which is available on Amazon for $1.85. I'd love to know what you think. I'd love reviews on Amazon, too. Most of all, I'd love you to read it.

If I hadn’t had this outlet—getting this relocation nightmare down on paper and exposing all the idiocy that made it possible—I may have snapped long ago. As I say in the book, sometimes what my wife and I went through was a Marx Brothers comedy and other times it was a Shakespearean tragedy. But even when it was a comedy, it sure as hell wasn’t funny.

A few celebrities have read it, such as Ken Osmond, who played Eddie Haskel on "Leave it to Beaver." He said, "I sympathize with the author’s problems and really enjoyed the book. What really gets me are the stupid laws that make it unbelievably difficult to buy and sell a house. Joel drives this home in a humorous way—just look at the book’s title. As my TV alter ego would say, “I wanna clobber those lawmakers.”

And radio host Jeanine Kasun said, “An easy, short and frightening read—and when I was done I sent Joel and Bonnie Samberg a gift certificate for Dunkin Donuts. I guess you’ll have to read the book to see why.”

Real-life characters in the nonfiction horror story included real estate agents, real estate attorneys, home inspectors, mortgage brokers, appraisers, bankers and many others who were callous, clueless and ineffectual. These are people who broke promises, made outrageous statements, created divisiveness and generally turned the process into an unbearable nightmare.



Posted by Joel Samberg over 6 years ago